Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: What Have I Done Today For Freedom?

Monday, February 27, 2006

What Have I Done Today For Freedom?

It seems to me that successful propaganda, mostly propaganda that sends us to war, has a tendency to say "if you're not with us, you're against us." In the WWI packet, the first page asks the reader to ask themselves what he or she did has done for freedom. Instead of even justifying the war, the government skips over the possibility that the reader is questioning the war and instead instructs the reader that he or she could be doing more to help the nation while it is at war.
By saying such things as "this war is for democracy," the government has the ability to make citizens against the war appear anti-democratic. Even in a situation such as Iraq today, the government can still justify the occupation by saying "it no longer matters why we went in there in the first place, we are there now and we must see it through to the end."
"Freedom," and "Democracy" are ideals that cannot be argued against in our nation. They have broad definitions and can be used for the wrong reasons. These words justify war and occupations.

2 Comments:

Blogger A. Mattson said...

A thoughtful post. Ideals of freedom used to justify taking freedoms away. Democratic ideals used to justify the limitation of democracy and debate. Such are the paradoxes of war and propaganda: 'A war to end all wars.'

Many Americans feel that when we are at war it is not time for open debate of questioning. Wars require national unity and the sacrifice of short term liberties for long term security and freedom. But what if the war never ends? What is a temporary suspension of civil liberties, the right to question and criticize when a war drags on for years?

Once the boots are on the ground the public's patience for dissent ends unless the war turns into to a quagmire, then the public will quickly lose its patience for the government's reasons for continuing to fight. Appeals to our love of freedom and democracy will only work for a time before the public becomes cynical and tired of the constant repetition of patriotic slogans. Both the pro-war and the anti-war forces are fighting over the same ideals and symbols. These "broad definitions" can be stretched into an argument for or against war.

2/27/2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger Hezellig said...

Sure, but in the days of World War I you were either on the side of democratic freedom or fascist socialism. Black or white. It's a whole different can of gray crap nowadays.

3/01/2006 9:45 PM  

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